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County Council OKs dog license increase

8/15/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Kathleen Folkerth

Plus, Council members hear county budget looking healthy

DOWNTOWN AKRON — Dog license fees will increase in Summit County as officials seek more funding for the county’s Division of Animal Control.

During the Aug. 12 meeting, County Council adopted an ordinance amending the current Animal Control ordinance to increase the cost of a dog license to $18 from $14 starting in 2014. Kennel fees will increase to $80 from the current $50.

The changes also will allow the county to offer a new three-year license and permanent license for dogs, as required by the recently passed state budget. The cost of a three-year license will be $54, while the permanent license will cost $180, which is equal to the cost of an annual license for 10 years.

The ordinance also changes the adoption fee for a dog from $90 to $76, plus the cost of a license. The $60 charge for cats and kittens will remain the same.

County officials have said the changes are meant to help Animal Control become self-supporting. In the past few years, the county has paid the department’s utilities, which were more than $100,000 last year.

Also during the meeting, Brian Nelsen, of the Executive’s Office of Finance and Budget, gave Council members an update on the county’s finances.

Nelsen said highlights include the property transfer tax, which was up 49 percent in July from the previous year and up nearly 20 percent year-to-date.

“We are seeing healthy gains,” Nelsen said. “We are seeing finally an increase in the number of properties moving and the average valuation of the properties moving.”

Sales tax revenues also increased 10 percent in July and 6 percent year-to-date, he added.

As for the new casino tax, the county received $843,000 for the second quarter of the year, which was the first quarter in which all four casinos in the state were open. So far this year, the county has received $1.376 million in casino tax, and Nelsen said the county’s estimate that it will receive $3 million for the year is on target.

At this point, Nelsen said the county is expecting $1 million more in annual revenues than expected. As for expenses, the county is still within its budget but will still likely use $1.3 million in reserves, much of which is being used to cover a cost-of-living adjustment for county employees that was approved this year.

In other business, a new ordinance to manage storm water in the county was introduced during the meeting.

There was no discussion on the proposed ordinance, and it was assigned to the Public Works Committee, which is expected to discuss the issue during its meeting Aug. 19.

The Summit County Engineer’s Office prepared the legislation, which is meant to “establish technically feasible and economically reasonable storm water management standards to achieve a level of storm water quality and quantity control for newly developed, or redeveloped, property that will minimize damage to property, and degradation of water resources,” according to the proposed ordinance.

Also Monday, Council adopted a resolution confirming an award with Karvo Paving for the resurfacing of Yellow Creek Road from North Cleveland-Massillon Road to within 600 feet of Yellow Creek Lane in Bath Township at a cost of $628,242, with $553,304 paid with state grant funding.

Council also adopted a resolution approving a reduction in the number of members on the Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services Board from 18 to 14, as required by the new state budget bill.

Also adopted was an ordinance amending the county’s competitive bidding ordinances that will allow the county to purchase without competitive bidding some items and services at less than State Term pricing or pricing at less than that procured by another political subdivision.

County Council will meet for committee meetings Aug. 19 at 4:30 p.m. in Council Chambers on the seventh floor of the Ohio Building, 175 S. Main St.

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